Tracey Tong/metro ottawa
Back in 1999, Paul Kim was working more than 80 hours a week as a resident of Seoul, South Korea, so he began looking at lifestyles other countries had to offer and moved to Ontario in 2002.
Despite holding a master’s degree in economics, he had difficulty getting a job and so began studies at the University of Ottawa. Today, Kim works at a glass company in Kanata.
While the job isn’t exactly suited to his skill set, he’s enjoying life in Canada. “The quality of life is better than my home country,” Kim said.
Testimonials like that will be featured on a new immigration web portal launched yesterday at city hall as Ottawa steps up efforts to attract hard-working immigrants like Kim.
“By 2011, 100 per cent of the growth of the labour force will be coming from immigrants,” said Suzanne Gagnon, Ottawa’s labour market integration manager, adding that takes into account those retiring and the declining birth rate.
“As Canada’s high-tech capital, Ottawa will be looking to replace workers in the information technology, health and science and finance sectors,” councillor Diane Deans said.
The bulk of immigrants now come from China, India, the Soviet Union and the Philippines. Over the last several years, Ottawa has welcomed approximately 6,000 immigrants per year, but wants to increase that number, through means such as the website, Gagnon said.
“Professionals, skilled immigrants and immigrants who don’t have specific skills” are all needed, she said.
In addition to attracting immigrants here, the portal — called Why Ottawa Is My Ottawa — also provides testimonials from immigrants and Canadian-born residents as to what immigrants should expect when they arrive at Ottawa.
The province paid $200,000 toward the Ottawa portal, which is part of a $3.6 million overall fund to build municipal immigration portals.
The portal is located at www.ottawa.ca/residents/immigration.